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Release the Golf Club
Increase your distance and improve your accuracy by properly releasing the golf club during your swing.
Releasing the Golf Club
Much is discussed about "releasing" the golf club, but many golfers do not understand what that means or how to do it.
When I teach the release I ask the student to use a 9 O'clock to 3 O'clock swing, and focus on the follow through after impact.
That is, a 9 O'clock position of the straight left arm for the top of the back swing, and a 3 O'clock position of the straightened RIGHT arm during the follow through.
I ask this because I do not want the student thinking about "hitting" the ball, but rather swinging through the ball position with a consistent swing tempo, and knowing where the club should be after the ball is struck.
Training Aid used: SwingRite Golf Swing Trainer - ORDER NOW
Training Booklet: "How to Release the Golf Club" (Included with the purchase of the SwingRite Golf Swing Trainer)
What I find is that golfers who focus on hitting the ball bring their right hand into the swing too early and either (1) hit the ground with the clubface (a fat hit) before making contact with the ball, or (2), they hold on to the club with their right hand, thus leaving the face open and pushing or slicing the ball off to the right.
Focusing on the follow through helps the student to automatically hold their lag position, maintain swing tempo, rotate the forearms during the forward stroke, keep the swing on plane, and bring the clubface square to the target line at impact. The results are solid contact and straighter shots with greater distance!
The actual release may begin earlier in the forward stroke, as the golfer allows the lag in the swing to begin to straighten when the straight left arm is near the 9 O'clock position during the forward stroke.
Unfortunately, this is also when many golfers try to add the power of their right arm and hand into their swing. Forgetting to continue their swing rotation they either leave their clubface open, generating a big-time slice, or they drop their right shoulder and hit fat behind the ball. An over-correction during the last split second before impact (by quickly rotating the hands) usually results in a bad pull hook to the left.
A proper Forward Stroke sequence begins from the ground up. The hands and wrists hold position as the weight shifts toward the left (front) foot and the hips, shoulders, and arms all rotate in unision. As the hands and club grip automatically drop to a position level with the right hip, the hands, wrists and clubshaft straighten and the clubface squares with the target line.
To help students acquire the proper feel for the release while maintaining a strong swing, I use and recommend the SwingRite Golf Swing Trainer.
Your objective is to groove your swing and learn to straighten your club lag by releasing your hands and wrists from their hold position (i.e., straighten the hands and wrists while continuing the rotation of the forearms) to achieve your optimum swing speed at the bottom of your swing, where contact is made with the ball. Remember to let your left arm do the swing work and use the fingers of your right hand to stabilize the overall swing, not smash at the ball in an effort to get more power.
Use the SwingRite to learn the proper release and then use it before each round of golf or practice session to establish the feel for your swing, your swing tempo, and the release point at the bottom of the swing that will improve distance and accuracy.
We have a brief instruction booklet that will help you learn how to release a golf club. It also demonstrates the use of the SwingRite Golf Swing Trainer. (The training course is FREE with the purchase of the Swingrite, or it can be purchased separately.)
Also, remember, that your swing tempo with each shot and each club should be nearly the same. If you need help with your swing tempo, see our swing speed and tempo web page, and consider using a Swing Speed Radar with Tempo Timer.
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For more golf tips and information, see our golf blog.
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